WFISD parents express concerns at security and safety meeting

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 7:35 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls ISD security and safety committee meeting started Monday with raised voices as parents, board members and school district police tried to come together on how to make schools safer.

The board started off by suggesting new policies for students.

“As you saw on our meeting this morning, we’re looking at implementing some metal detectors in our campuses,” Debbie Dipprey, acting superintendent. “We’re also looking at a system for badging students so that we’re able to know if students belong on the campus that they’re currently located on. Sometimes we have students who take it upon themselves to visit other campuses.”

Implementing metal detectors will not affect the budget deficit because they already have them.

“They are placed on the campuses. They have not been put into practice because we do not have a policy yet that has been established by our school board for their use,” Dipprey said.

Dipprey and other trustees tried to emphasize they want parents to feel heard and some stayed after the meeting to keep discussions going.

“Parents, we truly need your support, we truly need your input. We want to make good decisions for students. To support not only their academic health but their emotional and social health,” Dipprey said.

However, there were some disagreements between the policies suggested by trustees and what parents wanted to see on campus. Jennifer McKee, a parent, expressed her concerns about the disciplinary actions being taken, or lack thereof, on students causing issues.

“Nothing on the agenda was going to help prevent anything that’s going on right now, right this second,” Mckee said. “I mean we’re talking about guns and knives but what about fists? That should be on the forefront right now, not these metal detectors. That can come later. Right now we haven’t had anyone bring a knife to school or a gun to school.”

While parents thought trustees might have heard them in the end, they also made it known that if nothing changes, they may end up leaving the district completely.

“So we are looking around, one of the private schools. We are looking around because we can’t go there if this is happening. My daughter is already fearing next year,” McKee said.

Dipprey briefly mentioned the possibility of holding a special meeting for parents to further discuss their concerns and said she wants parents to know that their input is important.

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